Roberta Tillinghast, owner of
Answer, Inc., a telephone answering
I graduated from Rice Institute
in 1931, during the Depression and
no jobs were available. Not having
any experience in the business
world and having taken a business
course, I had to find some way to
get a start. An insurance agent who
could not afford a secretary and office rent on a private office and a
public stenographer, talked me into sharing an office suite, answering
the phone for the agent and writing
letters for him while offering office
space to others....
Soon my business grew into a
large office suite, renting space, answering telephones for others who
only needed the answering service
and sharing stenographers. Today it
operates in San Antonio, Galveston,
Corpus Christi and Houston with
other services in Seguin and Hunts-
A high degree of integrity, plus
dogged determination to run an efficient business keeps the company
growing even though I now serve
only in an advisory capacity...
Fran Charbonneau, owner of
The Melting Pot:
Until three weeks before my
shop opened, I had never dreamed
I'd be a "woman in business". My
tax number was for buying supplies cheaper. There was no study,
no planning and no money.
I had been selling my batiks
(mostly T-shirts) to friends and
through a couple of consignment
shops, but somehow that wasn't
satisfying enough. I tried selling
them to several rather chic-chic
boutiques as wearable art, but
they turned up their noses, a response which angered me into the
impulsive action of opening my
Since then I've examined motives often and believe the main
factors (in my opening the business) were rebellion and pig-head-
edness. I don't like being told
what, how or when to do, not to
do, what not to wear, etc...
The truth is, however, that I
was not a "risk-taker". At the
time I was married and financially
secure (and dependent on my husband). But the taste of doing
something for and by myself disallows giving it up now. It's far
too important for the basic necessity of self-respect .
Joy Boone, owner of Daniel
I started out in this business
in 1969 as a marriage partner, so
I can't tell you what it's like for
a woman just starting out alone.
I can tell you that once when Dan
was out of town, our bank would
not loan me any money without
his signature. Needless to say,
we changed banks. It bothered
me, especially because I did most
of the books at the time.
After Dan and I split up a
year ago, some of our employees
didn't want to do things my way.
A lot of them were personal
friends, but they were used to
working for Dan. I've had a total
change in work force, since then.
I found myself doing the mechanic work a lot of the time just to
I haven't had any trouble with
suppliers, though. They've dealt
with me over the years. They
know I'm competent, so they accept me.
Mary Ellen Whitworth,
owner of M.E.'s Gallery:
I have been involved with
the retailing of fine crafts for
three years now. I started with
wholesaling small collectable
items to department stores and
gift shops, going to flea markets and fairs, and finally one
and one-half years ago I
opened my own gallery .. .
From the start I have struggled with two major conflicts:
the first is the fear of not
having a guaranteed income,
and the second is depending
on creativity rather than education to make decisions . . .
I have taken out two loans
to finance my business, but I
am still grossly undercapitalized . . . During a slow month
the/ pressure to return to a
guaranteed income is high, but
the desire to be personally in
control of my activities is
equal. I have pursued several
options during the year including part-time jobs and
private investors. Realistically
I know that even in times of
plenty I have difficulty accepting myself as financially
My lack of business and
art education has been more
of a psychological barrier than
an actual one. I finished graduate school fully intending to
support myself with my imported knowledge. Now rather
than using a formula to solve
a problem, I will choose primarily on the basis of intuitive appeal . . . The transition
has not been easy, but it has
been very rewarding.
engaged in the general civil and criminal practice of law,
offer the following legal services at the fee specified:
Uncontested divorces $150 plus $34.50 court costs
711 Main, Suite 500
Houston, Texas 77002
$100 per couple
$250 plus $50 court costs
$250 plus approx. $150 court costs
$50 plus $28.50 court costs
telephone answered 24 hours
Joanie Whitebird, co-owner
of Wings Press:
The risk, if there was one,
was in finding myself among
all the people everyone else
thought I should be.
My father died when I was
three and my brothers and I
were raised by my mother, a
very independent, almost
archetypal 'strong woman.' She
taught me very early that I was
fully capable of taking responsibility for my life . . .
I disagree with people who
tell me I'm lucky. I never have
been and I'm not now. I
merely see what needs to be
done and work towards it till
. . . Wings Press was a natural evolution for me as a native
Texan and a poet, just as folklore and regional culture led
my associate, Joseph F.
Lomax, to the same conclusion: the need for a vehicle to
express the myriad forms of art
taking shape in Texas.
The car that deserves
a second glance.
At first glance, you might think an Avis
Yearling is a new car. But it's a young used
car, a year old or so. Maintained under Avis'
Car Care Program and Quality Assurance
Inspection as a Rent A Car. And we've even
added a limited powertrain warranty. So
remember: a Yearling is a used car—kept
young by Avis Car Care Maintenance.
\bung used cars
HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH SEPTEMBER 1977 PAGE 7